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Varmint Hunting Techniques For Prairie Dogs, Woodchucks, etc.


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Caliber & Bullet...really 2 posts in 1 lol

 
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  #1  
Old 01-19-2010, 10:28 AM
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Caliber & Bullet...really 2 posts in 1 lol

I'm thinking of building a long range varmint rig good for out to 600-750 yd which is about as long as I'm going to be shooting for a long time, but must also be good for as close as 50-75yd. It will be mainly for prairie dogs and groundhogs and possibly yotes. I was wondering first off which caliber and secondly which bullet. I have heard nothing but good for VLD's and got some on order for my AR (70gr). Was going to make 2 seperate posts, but the bullet selection goes in hand with the caliber selection due to bullet weight restrictions.

Going to be built on long action (-06 . Looking at the 6mmAI, 25-06, and 6.5-06AI. Trying to pick the caliber and bullet at same time to get the flattest shooting system, but also take into consideration barrel life. I know I have seen somewhere a 6mmAI shooting a small VMax @ 4000fps! I don't have a ton of money to rechamber every year so this option won't work for me. Was looking at a little heavier bullets for this. If I go with a VMax in 6.5 I can go with a 97gr VMax, but VLD's lightest one is 130's. So the heavier bullet has better BC but not nearly as flat. This will be a varmint gun only so heavier bullets not needed. So if I go with VMax's, 6.5-06AI might work. However, if wanting VLD's, then either 6mmAI or 25-06 since they have lighter VLD bullet selection.

I've seen the VLD videos and read a lot on them and it seems that they need 2-3 inches to expand. Will these work on prairie dogs? I was shooting 75g Hornady BTHP's on prairie dogs and some of them didn't expand and they just went straight through them, and they crawled away to die. Will the VLD's perform similarly? If so, would you just stick with the VMax's or still shoot VLD's?

If you have experience with these please let me know which you prefer and help me decide! Given these choices, which would you prefer for flattest shooting, but still relatively good barrel life that will take down varmints?
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:29 PM
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Re: Caliber & Bullet...really 2 posts in 1 lol

Thought about the longer/skinnier/higher BC bullets in the 22 caliber range?

I use 222 Mag AI with a 1:8 twist Shilen that provides 3150 fps with 80 gr AMax.

or....

22/6mm AI that provides 3700-3900+ fps with 75 gr AMax. This chamber is called the "half mile 22".
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:49 PM
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Re: Caliber & Bullet...really 2 posts in 1 lol

I have an AR that is my 223 round so I wasn't really looking into another 22 round although the 22-6mm intrigues me now lol
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:08 PM
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Re: Caliber & Bullet...really 2 posts in 1 lol

Don't write off the "little" 22's....look in your reloading catalog and bullet manufacturers. Compare some BC, add a little speed, then punch into a ballistics program.....you just might find your answer.

Do I think these are THE cartridge....well...no...but maybe.

Anytime a long, skinny bullet is sent with a little speed behind it, the reach and whop on the other end is rather dramatic.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:58 PM
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Re: Caliber & Bullet...really 2 posts in 1 lol

don't rule out the 243win. With a 243 I can shoot 55gr ballistic tips just over 4000fps in a 23" barrel and it shoots amazingly flat, accurate and hits "right now" with authority on dogs. If you bump up the twist, you could shoot the 105 amax which should perform good way out there. The problem with a 243 in a dog town is HEAT. After 5-10 shots on my sporter barrel (tikka), that barrel is HOT! If you do that very much, that barrel will be toast. Its understandable, shooting 51grains of H414 per shot!

I can shoot my 22-250 VLS alot more than that before it gets that hot. In my opinion, the 22-250 is the ultimate prairie dog / squirrel gun. Am I going to shoot 600 yards with it? No, but I'm more likely to sit in one spot, clear everything within 300 yards, then walk up the prairie a bit further and do it all over again. The walk gives my rifle a chance to cool off.

By the way, blued barrels have a way of "starting hot" in the summer. Go with a matte finish stainless barrel to minimize the heat starting out. I think the ultimate would be a white coated heavy barrel. Or some kind of liquid cooling system! I'm sure you can find it on the web...

What I need is a gun caddy then I could tow a couple extra guns and ammo...
Webb EZ Gun Caddy
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:04 PM
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Re: Caliber & Bullet...really 2 posts in 1 lol

I had thought about a 22-250, but my AR is good for the 300-400 yd range with really fast follow up shots. My dad has a .243 that he loves but said the same thing about heat. How many rounds are you going to get out of that barrel shooting them 4k fps? I was thinking the 6mmAI or 6.5-06AI for a little heavier, a tad slower, but much flatter shooting for the long 500+ shots. I was planning on doing a desert camoflage pattern with light desert tan colors which will help with the heat on those really sunny/warm days. Thanks for the advice guys, keep the ideas coming!

Brian
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:39 AM
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Re: Caliber & Bullet...really 2 posts in 1 lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greywolf18 View Post
I had thought about a 22-250, but my AR is good for the 300-400 yd range with really fast follow up shots. My dad has a .243 that he loves but said the same thing about heat. How many rounds are you going to get out of that barrel shooting them 4k fps? I was thinking the 6mmAI or 6.5-06AI for a little heavier, a tad slower, but much flatter shooting for the long 500+ shots. I was planning on doing a desert camoflage pattern with light desert tan colors which will help with the heat on those really sunny/warm days. Thanks for the advice guys, keep the ideas coming!

Brian

The thing with the 6mm Acklies and the 6.5-06 are such that they burn barrels. The AI's are going to give you 500rnds of .25MOA accuracy and fall off from there. They offer really flat trajectories but at the price of the barrel life. From there you will get 1 to 3/4MOA or less to around 1200rnds then it is a gamble as to how long it lasts after that. Remember, more powder= more heat+high velocities= limited barrel life.

So here are some thoughts. There is the 6x47 Lapua and the 6.5x47 Lapua. Both of these calibers have proven to have excellent qualities in accuracy and the speed you desire. A ruff guesstimate of barrel life should be around 2500 to 3000 rounds. It could be higher and they perform well with lighter to medium weight bullets in there perspective calibers. Some other options may be the 260 Remington or the 7mm-08. The .308 is always a good option using the 110 V-max. The .308 should get you roughly 5000+ rnds of good accuracy and set up correctly give you speeds of 3200 to 3300 fps.

Of the ones you picked, I would choose the 25-06. You will be able to run the 75grn V-max well over 3400fps and get decent barrel life. It will be explosive and flat. The trajectory will really nose dive and get pushed by wind right around 600yrds, but will be fun to shoot. I have used the 25-06 with results in deer season and have no problems promoting its ability.

Tank
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Last edited by liltank; 01-22-2010 at 09:42 AM.
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